For us as a disability service we get to be a part of family’s lives through good and bad! Some of you may have seen the coverage on “WIN” news and the Toowoomba Chronicle on Joel Shepherd. We have been lucky enough to have been a part of what has turned out to be an amazing journey for Joel and his family. When Joel was 4 years old he was treated at a QLD hospital for gastroenteritis which resulted in Joel having an ABI. For a number of years Coralie and Joel’s siblings Suzi and Kris have had to change their lives to meet the needs of Joel! Suddenly their whole lives changed and the focus had to become Joel and his needs. Knowing the family prior to coming to QLS, we were able to witness first-hand the level of daily support Joel required and the many challenges the family faced. From not being able to get the funding to adequately support Joel and his family, to the constant battles of raising children, one with extremely high needs. Joel’s family is no different to any other family! Arguments with teenage children that know everything, sport commitments on weekends, jobs, social lives! One huge difference is this family had to do everything around Joel which was extremely difficult as Joel could not be left unsupervised even for a minute. The next chapter has just begun! As I type this Joel is the states having what we hope is life changing treatment. The treatment has proven successful for a great deal of people as shown on “60 Minutes”. For his family and us, his Quality Lifestyle Support family, anything that will enhance his life is the desired outcome.
Many of us here at Quality Lifestyle Support have been following Joels amazing story on Facebook and didnt want anyone to miss out on the wonderful news! So stay tunned bellow for updates on Joels journey!
We have news, good news!
Joel did lots of tests for cognition, movement, mum talked with the staff at the Institute of Neurological Recovery. Joel was (fairly) patient.
So to the news. After the treatment, Joel was immediately on a bit of a buzz, he was immediately less resistant, less aggressive, more talkative, clearer, less distracted/concentrating better, annunciating better.
He didn’t need to be constantly held, which is normally to stop him tipping, restrict hitting, and to stop him picking.
He did some testing within 5 minutes; his answers were on par with those before and after. But he was more direct and faster with his responses.
Joel kept trying to get out of the chair, so we moved him to a regular chair where he just sat. THAT IS A BIG DEAL. He sat, without being touched. After some convincing from Kris, mum took off his mittens, and nothing, no picking, no pinching. Then he fed himself a corn cake!!!! (most of us cried) We tested him by giving him Kris’ sunnies, this is one area of no change, he snapped them straight away.
He DECIDED he wanted to go for a walk and just got up!! He was better balanced but still needed assistance. Joel got back in the big chair by himself, which required him lifting himself. Kris again tested Joel. Kris asked Joel to take the hat off his head (which would typically lead to hair pulling or hitting) but Joel just took the hat off Kris’s head and put it on his own and said “it’s my hat now”.
Doctors assure us the improvement should continue beyond those we saw in the short timeframe we were there after.
We have another treatment next Monday arvo.